The Copernicus programme

There are many databases that are publicly accessible from which satellite data can be downloaded like the database of the Copernicus program. In other cases, the satellite data can be procured from commercial providers.

Copernicus is an EU funded program, which delivers free Earth observation data to European organizations for commercial and societal purposes in a wide field of applications like emergency management, security, climate change and monitoring of the Earth’s surface. The first satellite is already operational and three others will be launched in 2015. The Copernicus data will be further enhanced with data from other satellites, aerial vehicles, marine- and ground sensors.

One of the main advantages of these Earth observation satellites is that they look at different aspects of the globe with multiple sensors. This creates a vast amount of data, which in turn renders endless combinations to generate tailored information. There are however also challenges to use this data effectively:

The Copernicus data from which your organization can benefit needs to be identified. Which information is needed to help your organization or your customers? Which data is already used by the organization and how can Copernicus data complement that? Information objectives have to be formulated and the possibilities of Copernicus need to be explored. Furthermore, The ‘raw’ Copernicus data has to be accessed and converted to practical use for your organizational needs.

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